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Tennessee

Tennessee is the 16th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. Its most populous city is Memphis, and its capital is Nashville.

Marriage Equality: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and recognition of other forms of same-sex partnership solemnized in other jurisdictions, was approved by voters in November 2006. The constitutional ban is currently being challenged in federal court. The case is Tanco v. Haslam.

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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Tenn. billboard proclaiming homosexuality ‘is an abomination’ divides town

| Thursday, September 18, 2014
Gallatin News Examiner
PORTLAND, Tenn. -- Residents in Portland, Tenn., are divided over a billboard proclaiming homosexuality "is an abomination." Resembling an open Bible, the left side of the billboard quotes an Old Testament passage of Leviticus Chapter 18, Verse 22, "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination. - God." The billboard's right side states...

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Study: 24,000 transgender voters could be disenfranchised in November

| Wednesday, September 10, 2014
vote-here
LOS ANGELES – Ten states’ strict voter ID laws may create substantial barriers to voting and possible disenfranchisement for more than 24,000 transgender voters this November. According to a new study entitled, “The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2014 General Election,” authored by the Williams Institute’s ...

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Pastor: Christians should not ‘repent’ for homophobia, gays ‘must be put to death’

| Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Robby Gallaty
A Tennessee pastor this week said Christians would never repent for discriminating against gays like they had for racism because African-Americans could not change the color of their skin. Raw Story reports that Brainerd Baptist Church Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty devoted his entire hour-long sermon on Sunday to justifying Christian opposition to the sexual orientation ...

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Nashville mayor first in Tenn. to publicly support marriage equality

| Sunday, August 24, 2014
Karl Dean
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville mayor Karl Dean has joined the national group "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry," becoming the first mayor from Tennessee to publicly support marriage equality. Dean signed on to the coalition of nearly 500 mayors from around the U.S. advocating for full marriage equality nationwide.

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Marriage News Watch: Fourth Circuit recap, Miss. couples register marriage licenses

| Monday, August 18, 2014
Jean Dawell of Delhi joined hundred of others along with the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio at a rally for gay marriage in Lytle Park, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in Cincinnati.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recaps last week’s refusal by the Fourth Circuit to delay it's order striking down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban. Now, anti-gay defendants have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in at the last minute.

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ON THE BLOG

Marriage News Watch: Sixth Circuit recap, 3 states head to Supreme Court

| Monday, August 11, 2014
Gay marriage supporters march from the Potter Stewart United States Courthouse, rear, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, to Fountain Square in Cincinnati.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recaps last week's hearings in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the challenges to four states' same-sex marriage bans, while appeals from three other states land at the U.S. Supreme Court. Plus, Wisconsin organizers have formed a new group called ...

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Tenn. judge upholds gay marriage ban in same-sex couple’s divorce case

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Tennessee
KINGSTON, Tenn. -- A Tennessee judge has ruled that two men who married in Iowa and later moved to Tennessee cannot be granted a divorce because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. In his ruling, Roane County, Tenn., Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr., upheld Tennessee’s ban on same-sex marriage and said state laws now in effect ...

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Anti-gay Tenn. lawmaker behind ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill defeated in reelection bid

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Stacey Campfield
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- An anti-gay Tennessee state lawmaker who has spent much of his legislative career sponsoring anti-LGBT bills, and who once blamed AIDS on a gay airline pilot having sex with monkeys, was soundly defeated Thursday in his bid for a second Senate term.

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Chattanooga voters reject benefits for same-sex domestic partners

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Chattanooga, Tenn.
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — Voters in Chattanooga have rejected a proposal to allow health benefits for domestic partners of city employees. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the measure was rejected in Thursday’s referendum election by 5,501 votes. In November, Chattanooga became the third city in Tennessee to vote to expand benefits to same-sex couples...

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Federal appeals court weighs four states’ same-sex marriage cases

| Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Gay marriage supporters rally outside a federal courthouse in Concinatti on Wednesday, Aug. 6, where judges were hearing the appeals of six same-sex marriage cases from four states.
CINCINNATI --A federal appeals court judge hearing arguments in six gay marriage fights in a landmark hearing Wednesday expressed deep skepticism about whether the courts are the ideal setting for such major change, saying that the best way to win the hearts and minds of Americans on the issue would be the democratic process. The judge, Jeffrey S. Sutton of the ...

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